Lincoln Ladies 1-1 Arsenal
The FA WSL Continental Cup
7.30pm, Thursday 2 May 2013
by Mark Whiley
Arsenal skipper Steph Houghton admitted the Gunners delivered a disappointing display at Lincoln Ladies as they got their Continental Cup campaign underway with a 1-1 draw at Sincil Bank.
Kim Little struck eight minutes from time to cancel out Jess Clarke’s 23rd-minute opener for the Imps.
Houghton accepted the Gunners were short of their best, but insisted they deserved at least a draw after carving out a number of chances.
The England star said: “We were attacking quite a lot in the second half and we should have maybe scored in the first half, too.
“We got a little impatient before the end, but we managed to get the goal, which was what we deserved.
“We want to win every game, but after a bit of a disappointing performance we’ll take a draw and move on to the next game.”
Meanwhile, Lincoln boss Rick Passmoor was proud of his players’ spirited performance following their FA Women’s Cup exit at the hands of Bristol Academy on Sunday.
He said: “I was disappointed with the late goal, but really pleased with the performance.
“I wanted a response following on Sunday. We’ve now got to take this forward and understand that we can compete with the best.”
Arsenal enjoyed the best chances during a competitive opening spell which saw Ellen White head wide from close range while Gemma Davison saw a shot beaten away by Lincoln 'keeper Karen Bardsley.
However, the hosts grew in stature as the half progressed and took the lead amid their best spell of the game.
Left-back Martha Harris intercepted the ball, strode forward and crossed for Clarke, whose shot went through the legs of Arsenal 'keeper Emma Byrne.
The Gunners almost grabbed an immediate equaliser when Alex Scott’s stinging volley was palmed over by Bardsley.
However, half-time came at the wrong time for the visitors as Lincoln made the brighter start to the second half.
A searing burst down the right from Clarke saw her pick out Precious Hamilton. She teed up strike partner Carla Cantrell, whose curling effort drifted just wide.
But just when Lincoln were looking comfortable, Arsenal reminded them of their threat when Danielle Carter fizzed a long-range effort just wide of Bardsley’s post.
And the Imps’ resistance was finally broken when Arsenal equalised in the 82nd minute. The impressive Davison flew down the right flank and crossed into a congested area where Little fired home from close range.
Bardsley; Turner, Bradley, Stoney, Martha Harris; Walton, Allen, Bowden, Clarke; Hamilton (Roberts 69); Cantrell.
Substitutes not used Horwood, Megan Harris, Kay.
Byrne; Scott, Grant, Houghton, Faherty (Ludlow 42); Nobbs, Carter, Davison, Fahey; White, Little.
Substitutes not used Tracy, Bailey, Bragg, Bruton.
Referee Sean Richardson